WRTG: Haiti Research


IC Library Print & Media Resources

Recommended Subject Searches

(Click to run targeted Subject searches in the IC Library catalog)

Haiti--Civilization--African influences
Haiti--Description and travel
Haiti--Economic conditions--1971-
Haiti--Foreign relations--United States
Haiti--History--Revolution, 1791-1804.
Haiti--History--American occupation, 1915-1934
Haiti--History--American intervention, 1994-1995
Haiti--Politics and government
Haiti--Politics and government--1986-
Human rights--Haiti
Haiti--Race relations
Haiti--Relations--Dominican Republic
Haiti--Relations--United States
United States--Foreign relations--Haiti
Haiti--Religious life and customs
Haiti--Social conditions
Haiti--Social life and customs
Haitians--United States
National characteristics, Haitian
Haitian Americans--Ethnic identity
Art, Haitian--Exhibitions
Folk music--Haiti--History and criticism
Voodoo music--Haiti--History and criticism

Haiti Earthquake, Haiti, 2010  [No materials to link to yet, but this will be the Subject Heading.]
Natural disasters
Disaster relief
Emergency management

Caribbean Americans--Intellectual life
Caribbean Americans--Race identity
Caribbean Area--Civilization
Caribbean Area--Civilization--African influences
Caribbean Area--Discovery and exploration--Spanish
Caribbean Area--Economic conditions
Caribbean Area--Economic conditions--1945-
Caribbean Area--Economic policy
Caribbean Area--Foreign relations--United States
Caribbean Area--History
Caribbean Area--In literature
Caribbean literature--History and criticism
Caribbean Area--Poetry
Art, Caribbean--Encyclopedias
Music--Caribbean Area--History and criticism
Caribbean Area--Politics and government
Caribbean Area--Politics and government--1945-
Caribbean Area--Race relations
Caribbean Area--Social conditions
Slave trade--Caribbean Area--History
African diaspora

Taino Indians
Taino art--Exhibitions
Indians of the West Indies
Indians of the West Indies--Antiquities

Creole dialects
Creole dialects--Caribbean Area

Toussaint Louverture, 1743?-1803
Trujillo Molina, Rafael Leónidas, 1891-1961
Aristide, Jean-Bertrand

Not in the IC Library?

     WorldCat via FirstSearch  is a "union catalog" that allows you to search the holdings of over 10,000 libraries from accross the country and around the world. Check WorldCat to discover what the entire universe of possible resources looks like for your topic. 
User Advisory:
  • Because this is such an enormous database you need to choose a "Limit Type to" before you begin. Most commonly you will be looking for "Books," "Visual Materials" (for example DVDs), or "Sound Recordings."
  • I recommend you avoid the "Author phrase," "Title phrase," and "Subject phrase" search fields and use "Author," "Title," or "Subject" instead. The "phrase" searches must be exact and are unforgiving.
  • If your topic is time-sensitive, try focusing on a recent time span under Year.
  • When you find an item you want you can request an interlibrary loan by opening the WorldCat record and clicking on "ILL (order via interlibrary loan)," which you'll find toward the top of the record under "External Resources." This will connect you to Ithaca College Library interlibrary loan, where you log in using your usual Netpass name and password. Logging in opens a form where all the identifying data will have automatically been transferred from the WorldCat record. All you have to do is click "Submit."

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

     General OneFile is the most user friendly of our comprehensive databases--covering virtually any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles. Use the default Subject search to find an appropriate Subject Heading for your topic and then open the "Subdivisions" link underneath. The main Subject Headings for Haiti are Haiti, Haitian Foreign Relations, Haitians, and Haiti Earthquake, 2010.  Among the most substantial subdivisions for Haiti are Civil Rights, Economic Aspects, Environmental Aspects, Health, History, Military Aspects, Political Aspects, and Social Aspects.
    If the best available Subdivision is still too broad, open the set of articles and add Keywords in the "Search within these Results" slot at the upper left. 
     User Advisory: When General OneFile displays a retrieval set, it opens to just the magazines.  For more scholarly articles open the Academic Journals tab.

     ProQuest Research Library : is another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.  Subect searching can be a more efficient way to search than with only Keywords, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word. 
     Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals),  "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), "Document Feature" (including Photographs, Illustrations), and "Location."
     Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
     User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot; if a named group of any kind--Microsoft, the Catholic Church, Radiohead, the New York Mets--enter it in "Co/Org"; if a place--Haiti, for example--enter it in "Location." 

     Academic Search Premier Comprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text.  Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved. 
     User Advisory: Like ProQuest (see above) this database divides its Subject searches into more specific categories, including People and Geographic Terms--which is where you should enter Haiti.
     A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together. Among the Subject Headings available are Haitians, Haitian Americans, Haitian Literature, Art, Haitian, and Ethnology--Haiti.
     User Advisory: For any retrieved set of articles, there will be a box displayed on the left that will limit the articles to “Scholarly” journals—just check the box and click the “Update Results” button below.

      JSTOR : covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one.  This provides 100% full text access to articles from not only the first half of the 20th century but even the second half of the 19th.  (This is our only database where you can retrieve scholarly articles on Haiti across a wide range of disciplines published in the 1900-1970 period.)  Be aware, however, that at the other end of the date range articles don't appear full text in JSTOR until at least 2-3 years after publication.
     JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages.  This relevancy ranking does not weigh date, however, and will display a mix of articles written decades apart.  So if your topic is time sensitive, be alert to publication dates.
     User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tick the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic.  
     Also note the "Date Range" limit, which in a database with an archive this deep can be very useful.

     CQ Researcher is a weekly publication from Congressional Quarterly. Each report (approx. 20 pages) examines a single issue relevant to American public policy, including health, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. The non-partisan analysis always includes a "Background," "Current Situation," "Outlook," and "Pro/Con" section, as well as numerous charts and graphs of statistical data, maps, and a bibliography for further reading.  Two recent issues of interest: Haiti's Dilemma: Should the U.S. Do More for its Impoverished Neighbor (2005) and Earthquake Threat (2010).
     User Advisory: The archives here extend back to 1991, and since many of these topics are time-sensitive, keep an eye on dates as you scan the reports.

     LexisNexis Academic  News:  Offering a keyword search of 100% full text from a vast number of national and international newspapers, this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed with articles in which your search terms are mentioned anywhere—first or last paragraph—or any number of times—once or ten times—use commands to target articles in which your topic words are mentioned early or mentioned often.
     Use the hlead command (headline and lead paragraphs) to target articles in which your topic words occur in the prime news-story position of headline or first paragraphs. For example: hlead(fracking and pollution) will retrieve just the articles in which the words “fracking” and “pollution” are used in the headline or first paragraphs. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses after hlead, with no space between.
     Use the altleast command to target articles in which your topic words occur a set number of times. For example: atleast5(“gay marriage”) will retrieve only the articles where this phrase is used at least 5 times—indicating that it must be a main topic. You can plug in any number after atleast—atleast3 or atleast7. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.

     New York Times (1851-2009) gives access to the full text of the New York Times 1851-2006: Reset the default search of "citation and document text" to "citation and abstract" (since this is a Keyword search of 100% full text, you are likely to generate too many passing mentions of your search terms if you search all the text; first try the more focused "citation and abstract" search and only broaden it to "document text" if you retrieve too few hits). 
     Use the "date range" limits to target the primary sources available here--contemporary reports. Without a date range limit you may retrieve hundreds of articles written decades after the events they discuss.  For instance, if you want contemporary accounts of "Papa Doc" Duvlaler in the American press, you should set the date range for 1957-1971.
     User Advisory: when searching for materials from earlier eras, be aware that language changes over time.  For example, the term African American was not in use before about 1970; before that time articles used the terms black, negro, or colored. 

     AnthroSource : Open "Advanced" search and put Haiti Haitian in the "at least one of the words" slot.  This database is particularly strong on Haiti's cultural traditions and mores.

     America: History and Life : Begin with a straightforward Subject search on Haiti. This database also allows you to set a "Historical Period" limit (below the search slots on the left).  If you set this for 1790-1804, any Subjects or Keywords you enter above will retrieve articles on that topic as it played out during the period of Haiti's revolutionary ferment.     
     But: be aware that setting a Period limit of 1790-1804 will also retrieve any Period that contains those 14 years: 1750-1850 or even 1600-1900.
     Be sure to set the "Document Type" limit to "Article" to weed out all the many book reviews that will otherwise clot your search for articles.

    : Not a bad place to start with a figure with whom you're not too familiar.  A name search provides a good over view of the life and career, while modern figures will include ample links to newspaper, magazine, and journal articles, along with audio clips, video, and Web site recommendations.
     ATLA religion database with ATLASerials : Our religion and theology database.  To browse the Subject Headings available here, click on "Indexes" above the search slots  and select "Subjects ALL"  from the drop-down menu.  
     Note:  Voodoo is spelled several ways--voodoo, vodou--but the Subject Heading here is Vodun.

     : Enter Haiti or Haitian as Subjects for a look at the range of materials here.  For more focus, add keywords relating to a particular artist or medium.

     RILM Abstracts of Music Literature : Enter Haiti in the Location slot (below the main search slots) for a quick look at the range of articles here.

Contact Us

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Dr. Brian Saunders

Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

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Reference Resources

Online Reference

Note: Log-in required

Oxford Reference Online
: Run a "Quick Search" on Haiti and retrieve a broad range of Haiti articles from a cross-section of Oxford reference resources.

Oxford Music Online: Haiti: Good survey of Haitian music.

Oxford Art Online: Haiti:
 Good overview of Haitian art. 

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History:  Do a search on Haiti in the slot at the top left to retrieve a wide range of short essays.

Print Reference

Note: Reference books are located in back right-hand corner as you enter the IC Library's main floor.

Encyclopedia of Latin American history and culture: Haiti
Worldmark encyclopedia of cultures and daily life: Haiti
Encyclopedia of religion: Vodou

Web Resources

Selected Sites

World Guide: Haiti:  from the Intute Web Directory, use the subheading links for quick facts.

CIA World Factbook: Haiti
: Make use of all those little + signs on the right to view the full information.

World Bank: Haiti
: What the money men--and women--think.

World Health Organization: Haiti: Don't overlook the Situation Reports and Country Information at the bottom.

Country  Studies: Haiti: from the Research Division of the Library of Congress, this is an authoritative 1989 account of Haitian history up to that date--though note the "Country Profile" was updated in 2006.

Brookings Institute: Haiti: From this leading think tank, a wide selection of reports and analyses focusing on Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. Note that there is a link to a second page of titles at the bottom of this first page.

Rand Corporation: Haiti: a series of reports on Haiti over the last 16 years from another major think tank.

Haiti:  from the University of Texas, a comprehensive, categorized set of links for online resources.

Haiti Program: Useful Links: from Trinity College, a good gateway set of links to online resources.

Amnesty International: Haiti: Human rights research.

Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti: See especially the News section and the publications under Library.

Haitian Times
: A weekly online newspaper that aims to "bridge the gap" between the people of Haiti and Haitian immigrants in America.

Haiti: Art, Music and Dance: Pretty good set of links from Bob Corbett of Webster University.

Haiti: Voodoo:  Articles and links from Professor Bob Corbett.

Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou: From the American Museum of Natural Science, click the topic words to the right of Vodou.

Haiti Maps: the best online collection from the Perry-Castaneda map collection  at the University of Texas, Austin.

Web Search Engines

Google Advanced Search: When doing research on the Web, always use the Adanced Search version of Google. This not only provides more flexibility in entering search terms, but more importantly it allows you to target the Web domains that are likely to provide the most authoritative information.
   Under "Need More Tools?" you will find the "Search within a site or domain" slot. You may enter only one domain at a time, but it's worth targeting each of the three domains likely to supply the best information: colleges and universities (enter the "edu" tag), nonprofit organizations (enter the "org" tag), and the United States government (enter the "gov" tag). 

Web Directories

      Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control.  

Open Directory Project: Haiti: Categorized sets of links to online resources..

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.